Harry S. Truman photo

Remarks of Welcome to President Aleman of Mexico at the Washington National Airport

April 29, 1947

Mr. President, distinguished guests, and friends:

It is an especial pleasure for me to greet you here in Washington, Mr. President, as the guest of the Government and people of the United States. It gives me the deepest personal satisfaction to do this, and in extending a welcome to Your Excellency, I greet you not only as the President of the United Mexican States, but as a man whom I have come to know and value as a personal friend.

The people of this country followed closely each of the many acts of genuine hospitality that were extended to me as their Chief of State during my visit to Mexico a few weeks ago. They interpret your many kindnesses to me, not only as an example of the wholehearted Mexican hospitality that thousands of our visitors to your country have experienced, but also as a symbol of the relationship between the friendly peoples of two neighboring countries.

The nations of this hemisphere are confronted today with problems of many kinds, some affecting the two American continents and serious in their import to the well-being and happiness of our Western World, and others that influence our actions as individual republics. We can all do much to raise the living standard of the hemisphere and of the world by increasing our production of foodstuffs and of raw materials needed by industry, and by improving the distribution of these products, in the spirit of our Inter-American Association.

We have, as a group of free nations, the moral strength, and moreover have the proved good will of our several countries, to find equitable and peaceful solutions to differences of any nature that arise among us who live in the New World. One can find no better testimony of this than the manner in which the peoples of Mexico and the United States are living side by side today.

The people of every State of the Union have asked, by means of letters and telegrams to me, to their Congressmen, to civic organizations, and to the press, that this Government endeavor to the best of its ability to reciprocate the most hospitable welcome that you and the Mexican people extended 6 weeks ago to me and through me to the people of the United States. My small part in carrying out this mandate will be one of the happiest events of my tour of office. We want to show you the full extent of our appreciation of your visit to our country and of our determination to perpetuate friendship with the great Mexican nation.

In welcoming you today to Washington, I express to Your Excellency and to the distinguished members of your party the sincere hospitality of the people of the United States.

Note: President Aleman's response (as translated) follows:

"Mr. President:

"I have followed with deep interest the kind words of Your Excellency welcoming me to the capital city of this great country. Your country is great not only by reason of its vast resources and the spirit of its people, but because of the overwhelming responsibilities that the moral rule of democracy impresses on all nations that are strong and prosperous.

"In a world where skepticism and discord still becloud peace, our confidence, the confidence of all the Americas, in the fitness of democracy, is one of the most valuable assets which we have inherited in our hemisphere. Therefore, I fervently wish to declare to you on this occasion that Mexico has absolute faith in democracy. The democratic ideals are bonds that bring my countrymen in closeness with the citizens of this Nation. Many thousands of Mexicans live here and we earnestly wish the same happiness in their homes and success in their undertakings that we desire for ourselves in Mexico.

"We have not forgotten, Mr. President, your visit to my country, gratifying for us, the nobility of your homage as a man and as a Chief Executive to the best loved heroes of our history, or your lucidity as a statesman and your genuineness as a friend.

"During your brief stay in Mexico you won the affection of my countrymen on your own merits, for what you are, a vigorous champion of good neighborliness in our hemisphere.

"Political relations between Mexico and the United States have nothing to hide or to dissemble. We deal together in broad light, without subterfuge or reservations. Their Chief Executives do not meet secretly to discuss agreements that cannot be openly avowed, but to reiterate out loud, in public, their sincere desire to live together in mutual respect and under law and to cooperate in strengthening the economy of their nations, increasing thereby their production and applying their resources to industry.

"It is our peoples, Mr. President, who in fact shape our diplomacy. And as leaders of our peoples, we ought to regard ourselves the trustees of their hopes, the emissaries of their enthusiasm and the official interpreters of their devotion for the cause of justice.

"While in Mexico, Your Excellency had an opportunity to prove the manly natural cordiality of the Mexican people. Although just arrived in this capital city, I am pleased to perceive the same manly natural cordiality in the people of the United States.

"On the basis of a political awareness so alive in our peoples, I look forward with certainty to the growing affirmation of Mexican-American friendship every year, for the good of a world that is impatient for all men to understand, appreciate, and help one another.

"In gratefully acknowledging your welcome, I extend through Your Excellency greetings to the people of the United States of America. I earnestly wish the prosperity of your country and that the relations between our two republics may be constantly pointed out, in the future, as a clear example of self-respecting cooperation and of solidarity without loss of independence."

The text of President Truman's remarks and President Aleman's response was released in both English and Spanish.

Harry S Truman, Remarks of Welcome to President Aleman of Mexico at the Washington National Airport Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/232961

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